Rifled vs. Smoothbore slug barrel - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Rifled vs. Smoothbore slug barrel

Ive been thinking about starting to hunt in shotgun only territory and have been looking for a slug barrel for my mossberg 500. What kind of difference would there be between a rifled slug barrel and a smooth bore slug barrel at say 50, 75, 100 yards? I know the rifled barrel is gonna get the best grouping but i just want to know how big of a difference it would be and if a smooth barrel would be effective at those distances?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 01:29 PM
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Re: Rifled vs. Smoothbore slug barrel

anytime you can change something to make it as close to a rifle your going to get better accuracy
Also, using a cant. barrel, the scope is mounted to the barrel so you can remove barrel with out any change to zero.
If you have a choice - I say go with the rifled barrel
I can get 3 touching at 100 with Hornady SST

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 01:32 PM
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Re: Rifled vs. Smoothbore slug barrel

To me it would mostly depend on wether you plan on scoping the gun. If you do get a rifled cantalevered barrel. The best wat to go.

If you opt for open sights then I would just get a smooth bore. Much cheaper to shoot, and they shoot about as good to 50 yards as a rifled gun. Once you get much past 50 yards or so the open sights will generally limit your accuracy anyway.

I have two barrels for my 500. One is a cantalevered barrel, and the other has open sights. Both are rifled. I was hoping I could use the same slugs through both, but thinknig that won't get to happen. The scoped barrel really likes 385 gr winchester supremes. I only shot 3-4 shots out of the open sighted barrel, and I didn't do the best with them with the winchesters. I need more range time with that one.

I wanted the open sighted barrel for when it snows hard so the scope doesn't get clogged with snow while I'm doing small drives.

You will get all kinds of advise on scopes. I like a simple straight 4x scope on a slug gun. Less parts than a variable scope, and the recoil on a slug gun is extreme. My cheapo $50 Bushnell sportview in 4x32 is working fine after quite a bit of shooting. Plus you can't really shoot much further if at all for the extra range a higher magnification would give you.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 01:52 PM
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Re: Rifled vs. Smoothbore slug barrel

I think it all depends also on what ammo you are gonna use.My dad has a Ithaca 16 ga.he bought new in 1946.On a bench with open sites he can drill slugs(punkin balls) dead center on the target at 100 yds all day long.We were impressed.He would bring it out every year when his buddies would come out to site in their rifles.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 02:01 PM
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Re: Rifled vs. Smoothbore slug barrel

Quote:
Originally Posted by good ole boy
I think it all depends also on what ammo you are gonna use.My dad has a Ithaca 16 ga.he bought new in 1946.On a bench with open sites he can drill slugs(punkin balls) dead center on the target at 100 yds all day long.We were impressed.He would bring it out every year when his buddies would come out to site in their rifles.
Impresed is an understatement, thats some shootin.
Not many guys can do that with a scoped centerfire.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 02:04 PM
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Re: Rifled vs. Smoothbore slug barrel

I would say the rifled barrel will get you better groups and while the initial cost would be maybe a little more, not a real big issue for the performance it will give you. The real cost is in ammunition, rifled slugs are for smooth bores and are less costly than most sabot ammo which is best shot through a rfiled barrel, but you don't get the grouping as tight with rifled slugs. If your gonna switch I recommend you get a rifled barrel, cantilever mount, and a quality shotgun scope. Then buy one box of several different brands of sabots, see which one groups the best, then buy more of them, zero and hunt with that ammo. You won't be unhappy with it and you will have spent enough time firing the gun to be familiar with it and somewhat used to the recoil of slugs. I have shot out 2 scopes in 25 years with my Ithaca Model 37 Deerslayer, meaning I shot enough that the crosshairs moved at every shot changing point of aim. I made my own cantilever mount when I worked in tool and die shop and attached it to the barrel with 5 screws and keyed it to the dovetail the rear barrel sight was in, it is solid. I now have a Leupold shot gun scope on it guaranteed for life, we will see.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 02:32 PM
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Re: Rifled vs. Smoothbore slug barrel

If you want to get serious, I'd go with the rifled barrel, cantilever mount!
I have a 500 as well and started out with a smoothbore slug barrel with open sights. I wanted to reach out a little further, so I switched over to the rifled barrel. I picked mine up at Cableas and mounted a Bushnell Banner on it. It's not the clearests of scopes but man is it deadly with 2 3/4" Lightfield Sabots. I'm amazed at the accuracy!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 02:51 PM
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Re: Rifled vs. Smoothbore slug barrel

Dick's had the mossber 500 rifled barrel on sale at 179. included cantilever mount and Bushnell shotgun scope. My son bought one (and borrowed my old Moss-500). It shoots very good. Scope may not be the best and will be replaced. Those 3 inch slugs really rock.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 03:00 PM
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Re: Rifled vs. Smoothbore slug barrel

I got to agree with the concensus here; get a rifled cantilever barrel. You won't regret it.

In my personal experience I have not seen many smoothbores shoot consistently well much beyond 75yards. I am not saying it is not possible, just that most I have seen can't do it.

I have a 500 w/ rifled cantilever barrel and it shoots well out to 125, which is the farthest I have ever shot it. That is shooting the very heavy Lightfeld sabots. If you stick with a lighter faster slug like a Hornady(provided your gun likes them) I see no reason why you wouldn't get good performance out to 150 and even beyond. That ain't gonna happen with a smoothbore.

I got the same set up that Harrysigafoo mentioned for about $160 online. The scope isn't the greatest and I want to upgrade it next year, but it has been a solid shooter for 5 years thus far.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 03:32 PM
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Re: Rifled vs. Smoothbore slug barrel

i would have no problem taking a 100 yd shot with a smoothbore gun. the accuracy loss between smoothbore and rifled isnt that crazy with todays technology. i own three slug guns, one cant. rifled, one open sight rifled, and one open sight smooth bore. at 50 yds there is no difference at all. at 100 the only noticable difference is my eye.

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